Tag Archives: Ip Man

Movie Review: Ip Man

When I think Martial Arts I think Bruce Lee, I think Jet Li, now I even think Tony Ja or Michael Jai White, they are great martial artists who act.  When I think of actors who do martial arts the first name that comes to mind is Donnie Yen.  His skills never seem to impress me the way someone like Ja does in his fight scenes, but he always excels in the acting side of the role he portrays.

Ip Man is the story of the well known master of Wing Chun Gung Fu, Ip Man (aka Yip Man.)  Many know him as Bruce Lee’s formal teacher, but few know his first 50 years before teaching a young Lee.

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Yip Man: A Black Belt Magazine History

Many people know Bruce Lee for Jeet Kune Do.  Many people know Bruce Lee studied Wing Chun Kung Fu before giving up fixed styles.  Many do not know that it was Yip Man that trained a young Lee Jun Fan in formal style.

Credit to Black Belt Magazine

www.blackbeltmag.com

Bak mei (white eyebrow) kung fu master Leung Sheung proudly demonstrated another self-defense technique to his class: side kick, grab, punch. Leung executed the movements with as much fluency and precision as would be expected from any 20-year veteran of the fighting arts. The students then imitated the perfection of his form. In the back of the room, the old man quickly turned his head away and bit down on his tongue, swallowing his laughter.

Side kick! Grab! Punch! The old man leaned against the wall for support. Now his body shuddered as he struggled to conceal his amusement. Suddenly his efforts failed, and his silent chuckles grew into loud roars of laughter.

Leung stopped his class, his face red with anger. “Hey, old man!” he snapped. “What are you laughing at?”

“Oh, nothing,” he replied. “Please continue. I’ll try not to disturb you further.”

Leung took a deep breath and paced across the room. He was still furious. “Look, old man, a few months ago we found you living out of garbage cans in Macao,” he said. “We brought you here to the Union Hall. We gave you a place to sleep and food to eat. The least you could do is show a little respect when I’m teaching.”

The old man perked up an ear. Had he heard the man say “respect”?

“Then the least you could do is show a little respect for the art that you teach,” the old man growled back. “All you do is have your students punch air.” He quickly moved through Leung’s technique: side kick, grab, punch. “But the air doesn’t hit back. What happens when you face an enemy who will?” Continue reading


Movie Review: Ip Man

When I think Martial Arts I think Bruce Lee, I think Jet Li, now I even think Tony Ja or Michael Jai White, they are great martial artists who act.  When I think of actors who do martial arts the first name that comes to mind is Donnie Yen.  His skills never seem to impress me the way someone like Ja does in his fight scenes, but he always excels in the acting side of the role he portrays.

Ip Man is the story of the well known master of Wing Chun Gung Fu, Ip Man (aka Yip Man.)  Many know him as Bruce Lee’s formal teacher, but few know his first 50 years before teaching a young Lee.

Continue reading


BEST OF 2010: Foreign Cinema

While really a 2008 release for Hong Kong, ‘Ip Man’ did not make its way to America until 2010.  Ip Man is the semi-biographical cinematic look at the life of the first Wing Chun Kung Fu Master to openly teach to the public.  Sometimes refered to as Yip Man he was also the teacher of Bruce Lee and many other great masters who went on to teach others the way of Wu Shu which is the framework for most of our Asian action heroes such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li and the films start Donnie Yen.

Yen, while from Hong Kong spent a portion of his childhood in Boston, while his hometown connection gives him a bias in a sense that I enjoy seeking out his films this movie stands as solid on its own.

You should know Yen as the spear-weilding first opponent of Jet Li in the epic ‘Hero’ the first of the three challenges Li’s character a nameless warrior fights on his way to his audience with the Emperor.

Ip Man deals with the earlier “coming of age” years of Yip up until the late 1940’s.  A sequel to the film was released earlier this year which continues the tale of his life loosely through the 1950’s, the final scene of the sequel is Yip’s introduction to Bruce Lee. (Hopefully it makes its way quickly to America.)


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